BulletBoys have been around since the late 1980s, having formed at the height of hair metal and been compared to both Aerosmith and Van Halen. I’ll admit I’ve not really followed their musical career apart from hearing some of their more well-known songs, but I’m impressed with this album.
‘Apocalypto’ begins with a cracking riff, swiftly fellowed by thwacking drums, setting up the pounding beat that continues throughout this opening song. The haunting vocals add another layer to this great first track that I couldn’t help but nod my head to. This song echoed around my head long after the song had finished!
First single from the album, ‘D-Evil’ features guest vocals from Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal. Frontman and founding member Marq Torien commented, “Jesse and I had an instant bond when we met and he did an outstanding job collaborating on the song with his vocals make a welcome contribution”. I think the vocals work well together, and the track is one of my favourites from the album.
Title track ‘From Out of the Skies’ really caught my attention the first time I listened to the album and I still think it’s a stand-out track. There’s a big sing-a-long chorus that’s catchy as hell; the hard-hitting drums of Joaquin Revuelta and Chad MacDonald’s booming bass are in perfect sync and sound fantastic throughout; I really can’t fault this track at all!
‘Hi-Fi Drive By’ and ‘Losing End Again’ are two slower tracks that on first listen perhaps don’t seem quite as strong as some of the others on the album, but it was the “I’m a lonely car crash” line from the former I found myself humming hours after the first listen, when I thought I had only remembered other songs. The vocals on both are clear, and you can hear that delicious slight rasp that Marq has to his voice really clearly. That combined with the strumming guitar on ‘Losing End Again’ is really special.
Beginning with what sounds to me more like the end of a song, ’What Cha Don’t’ then truly kicks in with a riff and those enormous resonating drums crack in too. Then there’s silence…has it finished? No…it just paused for a really long beat! Torien’s vocals on this are incredible and his and Nick Rozz’s fingers are on fire with astounding guitar riffs too. Meanwhile, the drums are pounding out their hypnotic beat, accompanied by the resonant bass. I love it!
‘P.R.A.B.’ starts with a funky, dance-like beat and it has a really different feel from the rest of the album, I think it’s a bit of a marmite track, and I’m not a huge fan. It finishes with words from Michael Jackson’s ‘Gotta be Starting Something’. ‘Sucker Punch’ is another track that starts with a funky feel, but is a much rockier track than its predecessor. It has some rapping in the middle which works really well with the crunchy guitars and pounding from the rhythm section.
‘Switchblade Butterfly’ is another ballad that showcases Torien’s soulful raspiness perfectly. It has something of a country feel to it in places. Torien sings about “those cotton candy castles in the sky” and it all sounds rather idyllic when combined with the acoustic guitar. Last track ‘Once Upon a Time’ starts with the title as spoken words, then Torien’s vocals start with a slow beat. It feels like a sad song to begin with, “Waiting for the day when I can feel again”, then the lyrics talk about it being “The best moment of my life”. It feels like an uplifting song, and although not my personal favourite, a good sentiment to finish an album with.
This is an album of sing-a-long tracks, with some ballads and a funky tune or two, all delivered with a level of musicianship that has experience, accomplishment and enthusiasm at its heart. A couple of tracks really stood out on first listen, but others grew on me. I have a feeling Bullet Boys are worth seeing live - catch them if you can!
From Out of the Skies
Hi-Fi Drive By
Losing End Again
What Cha Don’t
Once Upon a Time
Marq Torien - Vocals & Lead Guitar
Nick Rozz - Guitar
Chad MacDonald - Bass
Joaquin Revuelta - Drums
See BulletBoys on tour in the UK this month:
10th March - Trash, London
11th March - Slate Rooms, Wolverhampton
14th March - The Iron Road, Evesham
15th March - Bannermans Bar, Edinburgh
16th March - The Tivoli, Buckley
17th March - The Waterloo, Blackpool
18th March - The Underworld, Camden, London
19th March - Hobo Music Venue, Bridgend
20th March - Eleven, Stoke-On-Trent